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Husband dies without wifes name on deed, can bank take house from wife if she has been making payments?

Baltimore, MD |

he died without wifes name on deed. there is still a mortgage on the house, and she has been making payments for over a year. recently the bank found out he had passed away ( she did not think to inform them when it happened because she thought she WAS on the deed, they are an old couple who were married during a era when the husband conducted all the family business), well the pulled out "some law" that entitles them to take possession of the house. and they did, she was forced to move out last month.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You describe an event that has already happened. Was wife represented by counsel? Was the bank? Is there an open Estate for the deceased husband? Is there a Personal Representative? Who was on the mortgage loan as a "borrower?" And finally, what do you mean by "she was forced to move?" Was she evicted? Did she negotiate a move out date? Was there a foreclosure? Was there a deed in lieu of foreclosure?

    As you can see, this question has many moving parts. And since it is the surviving wife that may have been aggreived, she should gather all the mortgage, title and probate documents and invest in a lawyer's opinion on what they mean, and what has happened.


  2. I agree fully with Mr. Valkenet. There are so many questions that need to be answered to fully evaluate the situation. My initial thought is that if wife kept making payments, then the bank was not entitled to foreclose or repossess the house upon husband's death. If it was titled solely in his name, then it would be distributed pursuant to his Will or the intestacy laws of Maryland (laws that govern if someone dies without a Will). Depending on the situation, the house should have gone to the wife entirely, or if children are involved, then his estate would have been divided among the surviving wife and children. I definitely recommend seeking an attorney because she may be entitled to some damages because the bank may have acted inappropriately.


  3. You really must seek out legal counsel, and unfortunately, if this is the first time anyone thought to ask legal advice, you really waited until all the worst has already happened. Normally, the house goes to the heirs of the deceased owner, and the heirs take the property "subject to" the mortgage. That means, they own the property, but must make the payments. It sounds as though no estate was opened and the husband's property was not legally distributed. It is not too late to open an estate, but it may be too late to recover the property if it has already been sold to a "bona fide purchaser". If the bank still has ownership, then it may be possible to recover the title, and monetary damages may also be an option in either event. You should retain an attorney who practices real estate law in the Baltimore area.

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